Despite there being a sizeable 4% of the population identifying as vegan1 there are still some corners of the UK where you’ll struggle to even get plant-based milk for your coffee.
In contrast, there are cities across the UK that will make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a vegan paradise. So, whether you’re considering a move or planning a visit and seeking a wide range of vegan dining options, join me in exploring the most vegan-friendly cities in the UK.
Why trust my roundup to the most vegan-friendly cities in the UK?
I have followed this criteria to bring you the most up to date and accurate answers:
- Real data: I have researched and utilised the data from both Statista and Happy Cow. Unlike many other roundups, I have not left out any locations based on their cost, because this isn’t a guide to the cheapest vegan cities in the UK.
- Experience: As a vegan from the UK I have had a lot of experience eating my way around the country. I have drawn from my own experience to create this guide.
- Vegan establishments: 175
- Vegetarian establishments: 159
With more vegan and vegetarian restaurants in London than all of the other top vegan-friendly cities combined, this city is truly a haven for vegans.
But it’s not just the quantity of vegan-friendly establishments that makes this city so great, it is also the quality and variety of the food you’ll find here. You can choose from a vegan fine dining restaurant, or one of the many vegan junk food spots. Plus you can eat from a wide range of cuisines, including Brazilian, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, French (just check out all these vegan croissants), Japanese, and much much more.
So, it should comes as no surprise that “In 2022, the largest share of vegans, at 3.67 percent, could be found in London.” – Statista2. But obviously it does come at a price. London is an expensive city to live and eat in, so expect to spend some money eating your way round all of the food here.
- Vegan establishments: 30
- Vegetarian establishments: 26
The North of England has a larger vegan population than the South of England (excluding London)3 and one of the biggest hotspots for vegan food is Manchester.
With a sizeable 30 fully vegan establishments, it is definitely the vegan capital of the north. Far surpassing previously popular vegan-friendly cities like Sheffield and Newcastle.
There are a great variety of cuisines and restaurants, including fully vegan pizza and pasta joints, falafel stalls, ice cream spots and even a few more upmarket establishments. You’ll even find a few of your favourite London vegan chain restaurants here like Purezza, What The Pitta, and Pastan. These businesses know a popular vegan destination when they see one!
- Vegan establishments: 24
- Vegetarian establishments: 21
Brighton used to top many vegan hotspot lists, but just because it can no longer compete with the likes of London, it is still home to a large quantity of vegan establishments with a great variety of food on offer.
As a vegan you won’t miss out on eating the local cuisine, fish and chips, because there is a fully vegan ‘fish’ and chip shop. Plus they’ve got their share of vegan junk food spots, with burgers, hot dogs and plenty of vegan mac and cheese.
Brighton is also home to pretty awesome vegan Asian restaurants, so you really won’t get bored of the food here!
- Vegan establishments: 22
- Vegetarian establishments: 25
Bristol is a very popular and hip city with a large student population, as well as many London exiles who were priced out of the market. It is also a very vegan-friendly city, with a similar number of vegan-friendly establishments as Brighton.
It is home to some great plant-based cafes selling delicious pastries and pancakes, as well as plenty of vegan Caribbean, Indian and Chinese food.
There are also quite a few upmarket spots located around the pricier Clifton area. Plus Bristol isn’t too far from Bath which is home to a few awesome vegan-friendly restaurants like Oak.
- Vegan establishments: 16
- Vegetarian establishments: 17
Holding the vegan flag for Scotland is the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Whilst it has the smallest number of vegan restaurants listed in this roundup, the quality and variation of the food is top notch.
They have a great range of cuisines on offer, including Mexican street food, a high end Italian kitchen, a Scottish inspired fast food spot, and a vegan bakery with delicious doughnuts.
The nearby city of Glasgow is also a bit of a vegan hotspot, but I find the variety of food on offer in Edinburgh gives them the edge. Plus it is a beautiful city to explore and live in!
- https://www.statista.com/topics/7297/veganism-in-the-united-kingdom/ ↩︎
- https://www.statista.com/statistics/1065788/share-of-vegan-in-great-britain-by-region/ ↩︎
- https://www.statista.com/statistics/1065788/share-of-vegan-in-great-britain-by-region/#statisticContainer:~:text=The%20North%20also%20showed%20a%20high%20share%20of%20vegans. ↩︎